Why Is My AC Freezing Over?

To find ice on your outdoor air conditioning unit on a hot day may seem strange, but it’s actually quite common. Central air conditioners sometimes malfunction in a way that causes ice to form on your outdoor unit. There are a few different causes for this, but most importantly, if you see ice on your AC unit you should call for AC repair services immediately. Acting quickly can prevent further damage to your HVAC system.

How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

In order to understand why your AC is freezing up, it is necessary to have a very basic understanding of how an air conditioner works. Air conditioners cool your home using a combination of mechanical systems and parts that all must work together in order for your AC to run properly. To put it as simply as possible, your air conditioner draws in warm air from outside, cools it down, and blows it through the vents out into your home. When the warm air comes in it passes over a certain part called the evaporator coil which is full of refrigerant. The refrigerant cools the air quickly. Then the blower pushes the air through the ducts and out of the vents to cool the rooms in your home.

Common Causes of Ice on Your Air Conditioner

  • Low air flow. Proper air flow is crucial for your air conditioner to cool your home. If the air isn’t moving in and out of the system freely, it can cause the unit to get too cold, and that is when ice forms. There needs to be a flow of warm air into your air conditioner and through the ductwork whenever your thermostat calls for cool air and the system switches on. Causes of low air flow are clogged filters and blower malfunction. Clogged filters are an easy fix that you may be able to handle yourself by simply replacing dirty filters with new ones (be sure to get the right size that is clearly marked on the filter itself). However, a malfunctioning blower will require an HVAC technician to repair or replace this part.
  • Low refrigerant. If there is not enough refrigerant in the evaporator coil, or if the refrigerant is not correctly charged, it can cause the coil to get too cold and ice will form. Refrigerant can evaporate over time and in some cases leaks happen. Repairing leaks and refilling and recharging refrigerant should be done by a trained HVAC technician. The law requires the proper handling of refrigerant, which is why only professionals are authorized to fix this problem.
  • Dirty Coil. In some cases the evaporator coil may just be dirty and will operate well again after a thorough cleaning. A buildup of dirt on the coil acts as unwanted insulation that keeps the refrigerant from doing its job. An AC tune-up can easily fix this problem.

Keep Your Air Conditioner from Freezing Over with Preventative AC Repair Services

The best way to keep your air conditioner from freezing over is to schedule yearly AC maintenance. Like a tune-up for your car, preventative maintenance involves inspecting, cleaning, and repairing the various parts of your air conditioner. Cleaning the coil, refilling and recharging refrigerant, and inspecting the blower are all routine parts of a normal AC tune-up. Prevent your air conditioner from freezing up on a hot day by scheduling AC repair services with Berico. Call (336) 273-8663.